Asked to bat first, Bangladesh openers Tamim and Jahurul Islam began on a cautious note, but their stand was broken by Sri Lanka pacer Nuwan Kulasekara, who removed the dangerous Tamim, trapping him in front of the wickets for 10.
Mohammad Ashraful, who slammed a brilliant 190 in the first Test at Galle, was run out for 16 as Sri Lanka gained command.
Ashraful cracked two boundaries to score 16 from 47 balls.
At lunch, Jahurul was batting on 22 off 91 delilveries, accompanied by Mominul Haque on three.
Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bowl first against Bangladesh in the second Test at Colombo on Saturday.
Suranga Lakmal replaced Ajantha Mendis in the Sri Lankan side, while Bangladesh made three changes. Tamim Iqbal came in for Anamul Haque, Robiul Islam replaced Elias Sunny and Rubel Hossain in for Shahadat Hossain.
Brief Scores: Bangladesh 62 for 2 (Jahurul Islam 22*, Mohammad Ashraful 16; Nuwan Kulasekara 1 for 27) vs Sri Lanka